The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

October 31, 2013

It feels good to work

OTTUMWA — With October, which is designated as disability awareness month, wrapping up, specialists in Wapello County thought it would be important to tell the community about the people they serve and how they find employment.

Rodney Bostic is the training employment specialist for Tenco, a supported employment agency for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. He’s also a job coach who helps his assigned individuals find work, train in the job and then maintain that job.

He works with Chuck Bonnett, 48, of Ottumwa. Bonnett is going on six months in his position of kitchen assistant for Hy-Vee North.

He and his job coach were in the dining area of the supermarket Wednesday. Bostic stops in weekly to confer with his client and with managers to see if there are any issues that need work. A job coach will work with a client as much as necessary.

The Tenco Industries that is best known, perhaps, may be the can redemption center, a “sheltered workshop,” where individuals do simple tasks based on their abilities. They can generally work at their own pace. Their salary is subsidized. But Tenco officials have said that’s not the ideal situation for the clients.

“Tenco is hoping to teach our consumers the skills they need to get out into the community,” said Bostic, “and to be more independent.”

So what is Bonnett’s disability?

“I’m not disabled,” he began (which seemed to catch Bostic by surprise) before he amended, “I don’t feel disabled.”

Now that was a sentiment his job coach understood. Bonnett’s a good client, pleasant, hardworking and positive. Employment is more than a paycheck for many special-needs workers, Bostic said.

“It’s self-esteem,” he said.

Bonnet is much more independent than some of his peers. He has his own apartment, where he gets regular visits from Crest Services, an agency that helps people with disabilities become part of their community.

Text Only
Ottumwa
  • 0418 OTT Tree City U.S.A. logo Ottumwa awarded as Tree City U.S.A. again OTTUMWA — Having big, beautiful trees throughout a community can help spruce up a city and make it more attractive to visitors. Ottumwa has shown a dedication to making the community more green and inviting, and the efforts have been recognized by th

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT OEDC director -T Guiding our growth

    OTTUMWA — An organization designed to help Ottumwa grow has found a new employee in Indiana. The Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) board has chosen Sharon Stroh as the group's new executive director. “We are confident she will hit the g

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • City Council approves sale of properties OTTUMWA — On Tuesday the Ottumwa City Council met for the last regularly scheduled meeting of April. Included in the agenda for the evening were several dispositions of city owned property. Structures and land located at 519 W. Fourth St., 723 E. Mar

    April 15, 2014

  • Where to play OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Community School District wants to discuss moving to another athletic conference. Superintendent Davis Eidahl revealed that the district has been contacted by a smaller sports league, which has extended an invitation to join the

    April 15, 2014

  • 0415 Right side up monster truck pic Nice driver --- mean machine OTTUMWA --- Drivers sat at one end of their vehicles during the "pit party," meeting fans and signing autographs before the motorsport and monster truck exhibition at Bridge View Center this weekend. Monster truck driver Orville Hill let kids --- and

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0415 OTT Composting ethical pic Recycling in a garden OTTUMWA --- Parents will tell you: They hate to see kids waste food. A gardner named Scott Koepke feels the same way. “First, let’s get our food to people who are going to eat it,” he said. “It hurts me to see kids in the schools throw away an entire

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0412 OTT Pothole color photo -T -M [Duplicate] A bumper crop of potholes OTTUMWA — The nice weather has been putting the bad roads on display. Officials say good: It gives us a chance to fix them. “Every city is going through the same thing,” said Larry Seals, Ottumwa Public Works director. “It has been an unusual winter

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Home in a tent OTTUMWA -- As people live without shelter, they become desperate finding a place to sleep. The situation impacts more than just the community's homeless. "There is nowhere to put people who are homeless," said Mary Margaret Butler. "Nowhere." Ottumwa

    April 11, 2014

  • 0412 OTT Martha Speaks color photo -T -M Ottumwa children visited by cartoon star OTTUMWA — Iowa Public Television is celebrating its 45-year anniversary this year by helping communities like Ottumwa educate young children before they get into a school setting. One of the programs they are using to help reach out to children is by

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National